Asteroid to make a very close pass by Earth

Small asteroid will pass very close to Earth on Friday
JPL-Caltech NASA via CNN

10 February, 2018

The planet Earth is set to have a close encounter with a small asteroid today.

According to NASA, it will make its closest approach to Earth at 10:30 p.m. GMT (5:30 p.m. EST) today.

The newly discovered space rock will pass within 39,000 miles of Earth on Friday afternoon.

It was discovered by NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey on February 4 along with a second asteroid that measured somewhere between 15 and 30 metres.

"Although 2018 CB is quite small, it might well be larger than the asteroid that entered the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, nearly exactly five years ago, in 2013", said Chodas.

The other asteroid, 2018 CC, passed by the planet on Tuesday at a distance of about 114,000 miles (184,000km). The asteroid is approximately 1,000 feet or more than 300 meters across.

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During the 2013 Chelyabinsk event, 1500 people were injured and 7300 buildings damaged by the intense overpressure generated by the shockwave at Earth's surface.

Anything that comes closer than 4,650,000 miles of Earth is classified by NASA as a "near-Earth object" (NEO) and is classed as "hazardous".

NASA expects the asteroid to zoom past the United Kingdom at about 10.30pm GMT, travelling at five miles per second.

Scientist had been tracking Asteroid 202 AJ129 for about a year and knowing all along that this medium sized space rock posed no threat to Earth. Most asteroids are found orbiting in the Asteroid Belt, a series of rings located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Tenagra Observatories in Arizona will use its telescopes to live stream a video of asteroid 2018 CB as it approaches Earth today.

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